Computer backups: Organizing your 4 degrees of preservation

Computer backups: Organizing your 4 degrees of preservation I’m sure the last thing you want is a lecture on the importance of backing up or a tragic tale of lost files to hammer home the point.

Rather, if/when you’re ready to take steps to organize your computer backups, here are 4 levels to consider…



Organizing 4 degrees of computer preservation

1. Save often

  • Use the autosave function.
  • Also get into the habit of saving manually on a regular basis, especially if it’s a large or important file.
  • Every so often do a Save as…, using a new file name.
    For instance, I use the protocol [Filename] 08Sep28 1400 and save the document as a new name with the time/date updated every couple of hours – so at 4pm I’d Save as…  [Filename] 08Sep28 1600.
  • Consider backing up or making a copy of key files on your hard drive – you can do this automatically.

2. Take a copy

Copy a current important document to a CD or flash drive.

  • If you’re working on an annual report, thesis, novel or other receptacle of blood sweat and tears, save it to a portable drive when you head to lunch or log off for the day. It’s a great short-term insurance policy if anything should suddenly happen to your file or computer.

3. Back up externally

Back up your computer files to an external hard drive.

  • You might not do it every night, but do it regularly enough that whatever you lose will not send you naked and screaming through the streets.

4. Keep a copy of backups offsite

  • This is a safeguard in the event of theft, fire, and other things you don’t want to think about. Don’t think about them, just protect against them.
  • It’s especially important if you have a business or precious/irreplaceable items on your computer.
  • There are now many online places to store backups, such as Jungle Disk.

Got some tips of your own? Please share them!

Image by Arbron

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